If you take a look at Russell Martin’s career statistics, you’ll very quickly notice that he’s essentially been two players in five years. From 2006-08, he was a stud – Rookie of the Year candidate, two-time All-Star, productive hitter. Then, over the past two seasons, he suddenly became a below-average player – lower slash line, regressing production and, finally, season-ending injury.
The Yankees, obviously, are hoping they’ll get something closer to the old Martin now that he’s going to be their everyday catcher, and Martin – in an interview with a Canadian paper – recently offered a sort of vague explanation for his struggles. The problem, Martin said, was that he was going through some “personal issues” that were distractions for him.
Now, since Martin wouldn’t specify what those issues were (or even give any kind of general category – family health, for example), it’s hard to know how legitimate an explanation that is. And, as we see here, there is at least one writer in Los Angeles (Martin’s former home) who is skeptical about Martin so simply explaining away his lack of production for the Dodgers.
Now, to be fair, we don’t know exactly what type of “personal issue” Martin is talking about. But as the L.A. writer said, there sure can be a lot of distractions in New York, too.